Statistics Sierra Leone on Friday 29th October 2010 released the national inflation rate for Sierra Leone for the month of September 2010 at a press briefing held in the conference room of Statistics Sierra Leone on Tower hill in Freetown.
Giving a run down on the released inflation rate, the Section Head for Price and Labour Statistics Division Statistics Sierra Leone Mr. Samuel Turay revealed that the monthly rate of inflation for the composite index increased by 1.51%, when the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for September 2010 is compared with the CPI figure for August 2010. Similarly he went on, the monthly rate of inflation increased in all the regions of which the Western Area has 1.95%, Northern Region 0.98%, Southern Region 1.17% and Eastern Region 1.62%, comprising of two centers, Kenema 0.95% and Kono 2.05% during the same period.
He said the composite year-on-year inflation rate increased by 0.65% from 16.11% in August 2010 to 16.76% in September 2010, adding that there were upward movements in the year-on-year rates of inflation in Western, North, South and East when the rates of inflation for August 2010 is compared with that for September 2010.
According to Mr. Turay, the year-on-year rates of inflation increased in Western Area from 17.29% in August 2010 to 17.49% in September 2010, in Northern Region from 15.03% to 16.19%, in Southern Region from 21.93% to 22.02% and in Eastern Region from 18.35% to 19.32% during the period under review.
Considering the old CPI series he preceded, there were mixed movements in the year-on-year rate of inflation, adding that in Freetown, the year-on-year rate of inflation increased from 18.35% in August 2010 to 18.51% in September 2010, in Bo from 20.18% to 20.19% while the year-on-year rates of inflation decreased in Makeni from 20.93% to 20.90%, and in Kenema from 24.04% to 23.49% during the same period.
Highlighting factors influencing changes in the monthly rate of inflation, Mr. Turay noted that the combined monthly CPI for September 2010 increased from 151.50% in August 2010 to 153.79% in September 2010 resulting in 1.51% increase in the consumer price index this month. This he said reflects a monthly increase higher than the previous month, adding that the general rise in the price level for September 2010 reinforces the increase in the index over the last few months indicating a continuous build up of inflationary pressure in the economy.
Increases he said were observed in all the components of the CPI; Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages (1.95%), Alcoholic Beverages, Tobacco and Nartics (4.18%), Clothing and Footwear (1.76%), Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (0.64%), furnishing, household equipment and household maintenance (l. 37%), Health(2.24%), Communication (0.13%), Recreation and Culture(1.21%), Education(0.26%). Restaurant and Hotels (0.60%) and Miscellaneous goods and services (0.72). He also pointed out that the specific food items for which increases were observed include, bread and cereals (2.40%), meat (4.73%), fish and seafood (6.85%), milk, cheese and eggs (0.08%), oils and fats (0.22%) and fruits (3.93%).
Furthermore, Mr. Turay revealed that all urban National Consumer Price Index (Composite Index) measures the change in prices, on average, from month to month, of the goods and services bought by households, in Sierra Leone including all expenditure groups and both families and single persons.
He said the index includes sampled outlets from five urban towns representing the four geographic regions of the country; Kenema and Koidu were purposefully selected to represent the Eastern province, Bo represents the Southern Province, Makeni represents the Northern Province while Freetown represents the Western Area.
According to him, the weights applied in the computation of the composite index were obtained from the 2003/2004 Sierra Leone Integrated Household Survey (SLIHS) with the weights updated to May 2007 and prices referenced to the same period, adding that the weights refer to the total urban household consumption in the entire country and the urban towns selected for price data collection represents about 80% of all urban household consumption. Hence, he went on, the index is herein referred to as the all urban National Index.
“The basket consist of 400 goods and services popularly consumed by all inhabitants of Sierra Leone” said Mr. Turay, adding, “These items are divided into the twelve functions of the classification of Individual Consumption collected from six (6) markets in the Greater Freetown area, three (3) Markets in Bo Town, three (3) markets in Kenema Town, three markets (3) in Koidu and two (2) markets in Makeni Town for weekly prices”.